Daniel and Evelyn in Bern

Trip Start Apr 29, 2006
Trip End Nov 15, 2007

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Switzerland with Daniel and Evelyn

We were fortunate we could follow Esther into Bern and meet Esther's brother Daniel and partner Evelyn who took us for a walking tour of Bern, the Swiss capital. It means bear and there are 3 captive brown bears in the town. When Napoleon conquered Bern he took the city's reserve of gold and also the bears. The people were incensed that the bears were taken and that Bern was without bears for a time. The gold wasn't as much of an issue.

Evelyn and Sue bought cheese, meat and bread rolls for us all to eat on the steps of a grand old building, looking at a magnificent cathedral with beautiful gold and coloured statues, with minute detail. We passed many fountains and because it was so hot we had a bit of a splash in them up to our elbows and filled our water bottles from the taps.

But the highlight of the walk was the swim. Well, it wasn't actually a swim, more of a drift really, in the Aare River. It's absolutely unique and I've not seen this crazy past time before. Lou, Lynn, Daniel, Des and I dived into the water and were swept downstream by the current. It was wonderful. We weren't alone, the river was full of people all ages. Babies had floaties on and were as young as 2, and guided by their parents, and there were plenty of grey heads bobbing in the water too. It was quite fast and you couldn't touch the bottom. We traveled about 3 kilometers, but others went in further upstream and finished further down than we. If we had kept going we would have ended up in the Rhine. Evelyn kindly stayed with our clothes and we walked back to her parallel with the river, with all the other drifters. Daniel said people put their working clothes into waterproof containers and float downstream towards their homes after work when the weather is warm.

Daniel and Evelyn do not own a car as they work and live in Bern so Evelyn sat on my lap and Daniel went with Lou while Lynn lay down in the back. Both our cars are only geared for 2 people. It was a squashy 40 minute drive without any problems.

When we all arrived at Esther & Hans Reudie's beautiful home in quiet Wynigen we were surprised to see the effort they had gone to in preparation of the evening meal, it was a Raclette dinner. There was a burner on the table and everyone got a little dish to put special cheese and bacon into and cook in the burner. This melted, cooked dish was then served onto potatoes, vegetables or savouries which we took onto our plates. It was yummy and rather novel to prepare one's own food at the table in this way, it was lovely and sociable. Daniel and Evelyn caught the train home while we retired to our campers.
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